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Agriculture Month: Productivity boosted through modernisation, improved crop & livestock management – Pres Ali – Guyana Times

…Caricom’s Vision 25 by 2025 already achieved 57% implementation – Mustapha

With agriculture a top priority on the Government’s agenda, President Dr Irfaan Ali said that they have been driving increased productivity through the adaptation of modernised farming techniques as well as enhanced crop and livestock management practices.

President Dr Irfaan Ali

The Head of State made this remark in this message to commemorate Agriculture Month – observed in October annually. The theme for this year’s observance is “Accelerating Vision 25 by 2025: Investing in Agri-Business and Food Security.”
According to President Ali, this theme is fitting, given the important role Guyana’s agriculture sector plays in reducing the Caribbean’s food insecurity. Guyana is currently leading the Caribbean Community’s (Caricom’s) ambitious target of reducing its high food import bill and dependence on extra-regional foods by 25% by the year 2025.
The Guyanese leader said this year’s Agriculture Month is an opportunity to herald the contribution of agriculture in the country’s development.

“Agriculture is the foundation of our food security, ensuring that every citizen has access to safe and nutritious meals. It connects us to our cultural heritage, preserving traditions that have sustained us for generations. Our focus as a Government is developing a sustainable integrated agri-food system.”
“While global and environmental challenges continue to affect the agriculture sector, the Government of Guyana, through the Ministry of Agriculture, remains committed to implementing climate adaptation strategies and mitigating global pressures by boosting agricultural productivity through modernisation and improved crop livestock management practices,” he stated.
The President added that the country’s commitment to the 25% by 2025 target demonstrates its seriousness in transforming agriculture and becoming the ‘food hub’ of the Caricom Region.

Agri-Investment Expo
Against this backdrop, Ali pointed out that the upcoming Agri-Investment Expo in Guyana, from October 20 to 22, 2023 – the second of its kind to be held here, is poised to transform the landscape of the agricultural industry within the Region.
He said it will serve as a collaborative platform for investors, visionaries, and stakeholders to converge, establishing alliances that will unleash the untapped potential of the Caribbean Community’s agricultural sectors.

Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha

“This event presents a unique occasion to delve into state-of-the-art technologies, sustainable methodologies, and expanded market opportunities, positioning Guyana and the entire Caribbean Region as leaders in agricultural excellence.”
“This event, among many, being held during Agriculture Month 2023 will build a greater sense of awareness among stakeholders about the vast opportunities within the agricultural sector and the role that every actor along the food value chain can play in the development process. We look forward to the usual participation of the private sector, civil society, NGOs, international organisations and our farmers as we roll out several activities during this month,” the Guyanese leader noted.
He further urged stakeholders to unite in their commitment to the growth and prosperity of the agriculture sector, adding that together they can overcome challenges, embrace opportunities, and ensure that agriculture continues to flourish as a bastion of Guyana’s development.

Vision 25 by 2025 progress
Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha noted that this Agriculture Month is being observed at a time when Guyana is undergoing significant transformation in the as diversification takes place and agri-investments are being made towards ensuring that the food security of the nation is maintained.
Added to this, Guyana, over the last few years, re-emerged as a leader in agriculture across the Caricom Region, having taken the lead in reducing the high dependency on extra-regional imports by 25 percent by 2025.
Mustapha noted that to date, “The Caricom Member States have so far achieved overall 57% of the target towards Vision 25 by 2025. However, there is more to be done over the next two years… With Guyana being a key contributor to achieving Vision 25 by 2025, and poised to be the food hub of the Caricom Region, we are cognisant of the development that is needed in the agriculture sector.”

The Minister outlined that increasing production and transforming the local agri-food system with food security being the primary focus, requires significant investment. To this end, he added, Government is open to fostering partnerships with both regional and international financial institutions and investors to address the concern of food security and the threat of climate change.
“Our Government will continue to invest in every facet of the agriculture sector by continuing to expand cultivation and production to reduce imports, increase exports and foster diversification while seeking to implement innovative measures to drive sustainable production.”

“The Government continues to invest in opening up new agriculture lands, building farm to market roads, establishing modern farms, upgrading infrastructure, constructing agro-processing facilities and encouraging the production of non-traditional agricultural commodities… As we commercialise the agriculture sector, let us work together to develop the entire agri-food value chain and increase our competitive advantage through collaboration in ventures that link producers, processors, marketers, food service companies, retailers and shippers and suppliers. Let us collectively strive to achieve Guyana’s full agricultural potential,” Mustapha stated. (G8)

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